Chances are that your browser is the most-used app on your phone, tablet, laptop, and computer. Chrome is one of the best browsers for good reason, and part of that reason is due to the ability to install various extensions. These extensions can fill in a gap that is not a part of Chrome, or give you access to some of your favorite apps and services without needing to switch between apps. There are a lot of extensions for you to take advantage of, but these are our favorite for working from home (and more).
Get work done
When the name of the game is "working from home," it's important to make sure that you get your work done. From project management to note-taking or link-saving, Chrome has plenty of extensions to keep you focused and not get distracted with nonsense.
- Swiss Army Knife: Google Keep
- Task management: Todoist for Chrome
- Video chatting: Zoom
- From Gmail: Mailto: for Gmail
- Time tracking: Clockify
- Ease your mind: Current
- Tomato Timer: Focus To-Do: Pomodoro Timer & To Do List
- Sign those documents: Kami Extension - PDF and Document Annotation
- Kanban everywhere: Kanbie
- Is it then or than?: Grammarly
- Manipulate text: Change Case
- Keyboard shortcuts: Auto Text Expander 2
Swiss Army Knife: Google Keep
Google Keep continues to see improvements over time, and it's to the point that you can turn this into your primary task manager. But the great thing about Keep is that you can make it complex or just use it to keep track of links or notes. The Chrome extension automatically adds a link for the site you are visiting, but this can be removed, and you can do whatever you want with the pop-up.
Task management: Todoist for Chrome
Project management is frustrating, but with a tool like Todoist, you don't have to get stressed out anymore. This extension gives you a mini-view of all of your projects, making it easy to add something new if you need to on the fly.
Video chatting: Zoom
When it comes to working from home, video conference calls are a necessary evil, and Zoom has taken over for many different companies. Thankfully, there's a Chrome extension not only to join a meeting, but you can also participate in the chat and be reminded before the meeting is getting ready to start.
From Gmail: Mailto: for Gmail
As is the case with many extensions, Mailto: for Gmail does one thing — open a Gmail compose window. Now, whenever you click on an email link in Chrome, a new compose window will appear, making it easier than ever to fire off emails instead of fiddling with finding the right tab or switching apps.
Time tracking: Clockify
If you have a lot of projects and need to bill those hours, you'll want Clockify. This app not only lets you track your time with ease, but there is also an array of integrations, including Google Calendar, Todoist, Gmail, and other tools that you may already be using.
Ease your mind: Current
It can be tough to remember that you need to take care of your mind when working from home. Current aims to improve your mindfulness with different exercises and "micro-meditations" that can be started and completed right from Chrome.
Tomato Timer: Focus To-Do: Pomodoro Timer & To Do List
The biggest benefit of a Pomodoro Timer is not only to keep you on track with a project, but to also act as a reminder to take a break. With Focus To-Do, this will also help you to manage your tasks, calendar, reminders, and much more. This isn't just a Pomodoro Timer; it's an all-in-one task management system.
Sign those documents: Kami Extension - PDF and Document Annotation
Dealing with PDF files and annotating documents should not be as frustrating as it is for many. Instead of fumbling around in different apps that may not do the job right, Kami Extension offers quick annotating and more. There's even integration with Google Classroom and other Learning Management Systems.
Kanban everywhere: Kanbie
Plain lists are boring as it can be tough to keep track of your progress on specific tasks. Kanbie adds a Kanban board to Chrome that is customizable, available from any tab, and it will sync across multiple computers with the help of Chrome. Plus, you can add colored labels to your cards to keep better track of projects.
Check your grammar
It can be really embarrassing to work on a big project or email to a big-wig only to have it riddled with spelling or grammatical errors. That's why you'll want an extension that will act as your editor, even if you aren't a writer.
Is it then or than?: Grammarly
Let's face it; even Shakespeare needed an editor, so why not let Chrome and Grammarly do the work for you? Grammarly will give you suggestions while you write, and quickly let you know if your grammar is off or if there's a misspelled word in that long email to the boss.
Manipulate text: Change Case
Change Case is pretty self-explanatory as it adds a menu option when highlighting and right-clicking on the text. When activated, you can change the text case of whatever is highlighted, along with providing keyboard shortcuts so you can remove a few extra steps.
Keyboard shortcuts: Auto Text Expander 2
Do you send the same messages to people all of the time? Or maybe you need to add the right signature based on the email client you're using? Auto Text Expander does this and so much more, and the best part is how customizable it is, along with living in Chrome.
Make Chrome work for you
There are a lot of obscure extensions that may provide features that you didn't even realize that you needed. From adding an inspirational quote every time you open a new tab to organizing those never-ending tabs, there's something for everyone. And with one less thing to worry about, you can keep your mind free from things that don't need to be there.
Auto-open tabs: Toby
As someone who keeps a few of the same tabs open all day, every day, it can be annoying to have to click through to those sites all the time. Toby makes this easy and consolidates your tabs into groups that can be opened with a single click. It may not sound like much, but you can create various groups of tabs and open them whenever you need to.
Personalized New Tab: Momentum
The New Tab Page is rather boring, so why not spruce it up a bit with some motivation? Momentum provides a new photo every day, an inspiring quote, and a single line asking what your daily focus is. But you can expand on that even further and a list of tasks you need to complete. Then you'll see those, along with the words of encouragement, every time you open a new tab.
For the programmers: Initab
If you are in the process of developing something new, then chances are you use the combination of GitHub and/or Stack Overflow. Initab provides a suite of tools aimed at programmers to get quick information on the topics that you care about and need.
Better screenshots: Awesome Screenshot
Screenshots are a pain unless you have a tool like Awesome Screenshot. Nobody wants to always take a screenshot of their entire computer, only to have to edit it and annotate it after the fact. This extension provides a suite of screenshot tools right from your browser, and even includes screen recording.
Manage your sessions: Session Buddy
Have you ever been working on a big project only for something to come up, and you need to switch gears but don't want to lose the tabs you have? Session Buddy solves this problem by saving your browsing sessions, regardless of how many windows or tabs you have open at the same time. Then just restore those windows and get back to work.
Dark Mode everything: Dark Reader
It's not great for your eyes to look at the white backgrounds of screens in Chrome all day every day. Your eyes will get tired, and eye strain is not good for anyone. With Dark Reader, you can force dark mode on or off for just about any website, and you can set custom filters for different websites that you visit.
Have some fun
Working from home is great and all, and it's important to get your work done in a timely fashion. But sometimes, you need to take a break and just do something that makes you smile. Some of these extensions work great for that five to ten-minute break, or you can watch your favorite shows with your bestie without actually being in the same room.
Virtual pets: Tabby Cat
Think of Tabby Cat as an in-browser Tamagotchi, but with a cat instead of an 8-bit digital pet. This extension allows you to interact with your virtual pet, and there other pets to choose from with an in-app purchase. And while you are destressing by playing with your pets, you can take a quick picture and save it for later!
Netflix and chill: Netflix Party
Did a new series or movie just get added to Netflix that you and your friends wanted to watch together? Well, if you have to stay at home, you can take advantage of Netflix Party and have those movie nights again. And the best part is that the video playback is synchronized and there's even a group chat, right from the extension.
The new radio: podStation Podcast Player
Podcasts are the new radio stations, and with podStation, this in-browser podcast player will let you keep up to date on your favorite shows. This is a simple podcast aggregator with a built-in search, along with the ability to create playlists and control your playback rate.
Watch from anywhere: Picture-in-Picture
Whether it's just a random YouTube playlist or something you need to keep up while performing another task, not having picture-in-picture is frustrating. With Picture-in-Picture by Google, this adds a little video box in the corner of your computer, which can be resized and moved around so you can keep browsing the web.
Watch with friends: Scener - Virtual Movie Theater
Those who have multiple streaming services and want to watch shows or movies with their friends will need Scener. This is a "virtual" movie theater, but with only the people there that you want to be there. You can chat over video, voice, or text, and the content will playback in sync with all parties involved.
Jump the boxes: Boxel Rebound
Sometimes you just need to take a break for a few minutes but don't want to actually get up from your desk. Boxel Rebound is a fun box-jumping game that features more than 50 different levels and cloud backups to sync across devices with Chrome installed. And if you are having a lot of fun, you can download the game on your smartphone too.
Extra utilities you need
Diving a bit deeper, there are some Chrome extensions that will enhance your overall experience and do something that you can't. Whether it's freeing up RAM on your computer or keeping track of your passwords, Chrome has everything you could need. And you'll definitely need these utility extensions, even if you aren't working.
Stay in control: LastPass
Everyone needs a password manager nowadays, and there's really no better option than LastPass. This extension will auto-fill your username and password, along with creating a safe and secure password for whatever website you are signing up for.
Suspend the tabs: The Great Suspender
Chrome is notorious for taking up a boatload of RAM on your computer, and this is especially true if you have a lot of tabs open. With The Great Suspender, the tabs that you are not actively using will be put to sleep, reducing the "memory footprint" of your browser. And there is a slew of customizable features to make the most out of it.
No breaches allowed: Password Checkup
While having unique passwords is great, that doesn't mean that they still can't fall into the wrong hands. With Google's Password Checkup extension, you will be able to view whether your information has appeared in a data breach, then use your password manager to create a new login for whatever sites were affected.
Shop smarter from home
Can't make it out to the store, but know you need to get a few things ordered? These extensions improve your shopping experience, while potentially saving you a few bucks, or ensuring that you can donate to your favorite charity, every time you click that Buy Now button.
Next-level coupon clipping: Honey
In a lot of instances, shopping online can be cheaper than going to the store in person. But the other added benefit of online shopping is the various discount codes that can be used, even if you didn't sign up for a newsletter. Honey will automatically find and apply coupon codes while you're shopping, and then you can earn points with purchases to redeem for things like gift cards.
Give back: Smile Always
AmazonSmile is a program that will donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charity of your choice. But you will need to navigate to the correct URL for the donations to be made. Smile Always ensures that you are always taking advantage of AmazonSmile, even if you don't think about it while shopping on Amazon.
Track prices: Keepa - Amazon Price Tracker
There are so many different products available from Amazon, and everyone always wants to get the best price possible. If you have a big purchase in mind but want to wait for a discount, Keepa will ensure that you purchase it right when the price drops. You can even view daily deals and view price history charts to determine the chances of something actually getting discounted.
Extensions make Chrome the best
Extensions aren't the only reason why you should use Chrome, as it's a great browser even when completely stripped down and barebones. But, the Chrome app on your computer is really an operating system within an operating system (unless you have a Chromebook or Chromebox). There are a ton of apps and extensions to get your work done in ways that you never thought were possible.
The best part about all of this is that new extensions are being released or updated with new features regularly. So just because you are looking for something specific today and it's not there, doesn't mean that it won't be there tomorrow. Chrome is the king of browsers, and extensions are a big part of why.